Expanded Theory on Dream Evolution
Hello everyone. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jonathan Stephens, the designer and CEO of TIMEBANDITS Watches. I’d like to begin by giving you some insight into my background and what led me to become an artist and designer.
I made the move to Los Angeles, California in 1994 from Little Rock, Arkansas. Yep that’s right, Bill Clinton territory. My mom, Cookie actually went to school with him, but that’s another story. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, I was accepted to USC School of Cinema-Television and studied filmmaking. While attending USC School of Cinema-TV, I directed a series of 5 short films, produced an Incubus Music Video for Sony Music, worked as a professional photographer shooting models, and directed several music videos. After completing my BA in Cinema-TV, I was given a very fortunate opportunity to begin work on the The X-Files series. On The X-Files, I worked as the Assistant to Kim Manners, the Co-Executive Producer and primary Director of the show. While working for Kim, I learned every aspect of directing. I had the best job in the world! I was able to follow this brilliant Director around as his shadow and absorb all of the lessons that a young aspiring director should learn.
While working on The X-Files, I was also hired as a Still Photographer by FOX to shoot publicity photos of the actors, behind the scenes photos, and best of all – a series of forensic photos that would be featured on camera as a major plot device. During hiatus from The X-Files, I continued my photography professionally shooting celebrity portraits, shooting various album covers for bands, and began focusing on shooting photography that encompased the world of surrealism. I was drawn to: night time photography, cross-processed highly saturated images, carnival subject matter, candy, toys, the obscure, haunting images, nostalgic images that would take you back to your childhood, pop surrealism, and visions of a retro-future. As we were filming the last season of The X-Files, I still found the time to direct several other music videos including a rap video that was creatively rewarding to direct.
After The X-Files series ended, I continued to focus on my photography and began incorporating my photographs in visual design. My influences for my photography and art during this whole growth period were: Juxtapoz, Robert Williams, Mark Ryden, Dali, Syd Mead, Futuristic Art, Lowbrow – Pop Surrealism, kcrw music, Graffiti – street artists, and La Luz de Jesus Gallery. During this artistic growth period, I participated in over 10 Group Art Shows, many with the Underground Art Movement in LA called “Cannibalflower.” I also had several One-Man Solo art exhibits. My solo exhibit was called “The Wonderland Exhibit” and it received an overwhelmingly successful response from the LA Art Movement. The man himself, Billy Shire – the most well respected art curator in LA, showed up to check out my “Wonderland Exhibit”.
Several months after finishing up on The X-Files, I began making a few watches for myself to wear. These watches were no ordinary watches. I had grown tired of wearing leather watches so I came up with the idea of “why not just throw a watch on a sweatband? Yeah, I would wear that!” So I made my first sweatband watches and started wearing them around in Hollywood on various film sets here and there. People started tripping on them and they wanted to buy them. I started selling them immediately and then placed the product in a selection of high end boutiques across LA. The response was overwhelming and celebrities started buying them! Since then, my watch line has been sold at Fred Segal, Hot Topic, and numerous stores all around the world! The list of celebrities that have been seen wearing TIMEBANDITS is pretty remarkable. As I developed the TIMEBADITS brand, I was able to bring my art design skills into play be creating a surreal product with crazy colored designs for the retro-future consumer. It’s been an incredible journey, but I feel like I’m just getting started. I am currently working on the designs for our Spring/Summer 2008 Line and pursuing other collaborative efforts with different brands in product development.
To check out my artwork or TIMEBANDITS Watches, please visit the websites below.
Thanks to all of the TIMEBANDITS supporters out there!